Attraction Review - Time Run: The Celestial Chain

The first time I played Time Run back in August 2015, my first thought was 'that was amazing...but I can never play it again!' For that is the downside of Escape Room games - unlike a theme park where every visit is similar yet unique, once you've figured out how the puzzles work in an Escape Room you're kind of done with it because...well figuring out how the damn things work is half the fun.

So Time Run fans rejoice - there's a brand new chapter to London's (and indeed the UK's) premier Escape Room experience and I was recently invited to head down and try it out for myself! Having opened less than a month ago, Time Run now presents The Celestial Chain - the second story from the Time Run team where time voyagers are invited once again to join Edwardian explorer Luna Fox and trusty robot companion Babbage to embark on a quest across the space time continuum.

And it's not only the storyline that's changed in The Celestial Chain - it's the entire gameplay. Whereas the original Time Run: The Lance of Longinus asked teams to work together with the aim of securing one item and thus working on a clear win/lose system, The Celestial Chain is much more focused on every team being successful (just some are more successful than others). You'll still travel through time with your friends, solving clues, cracking codes and figuring out puzzles, but this time there's more than one item to secure and therefore many more successes to be had. Which is simultaneously more satisfying when you get one AND more frustrating when you don't nab them all.

The Celestial Chain is situated just one door down from the original Time Run location and takes up an impressive 3000ft of East London real estate. As with the first chapter, it's obvious that the creative team behind Time Run are second to none - especially when it comes to making the most out of their budget. Don't go into this expecting Disney/Universal levels of theme and I guarantee you'll be impressed. Everything from use of found objects to clever use of smoke, light and mirrors works perfectly together to truly transport players across the fabric of time and really immerse them in the storyline of the gameplay. It's incredibly convincing and I daresay quality enough to give some of the UK's top theme parks a thematic run for their money!

Probably my only nitpick I have with The Celestial Chain is that it wasn't always immediately apparent what the task was. I know, I know, figuring out what the bloody hell you're meant to be doing is all part of it, but when I played The Lance of Longinus we never really spent longer than a minute of two deciphering what the end goal was, whereas in The Celestial Chain on a few occasions by the time we'd got our heads around what we were meant to be doing the time had basically ran out, meaning we didn't really get to spend that long enjoying the puzzles themselves.

But trust me when I say this is definitely not one to be missed. The Celestial Chain is one of the most unique Escape Rooms I've had the honour of playing so far and provides the perfect sequel to the already excellent Lance of Longinus. I'm excited to see how Time Run continue to expand, but in the meantime get yourself down to Hackney and give it a try for yourself!

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Talk later xoxo,